Two days after playing what will be her final regular-season game in Seattle, New York Liberty forward and former Storm champion Swin Cash announced she has decided to retire at the end of the season.
In a piece for The Players’ Tribune, the 15-year veteran wrote, “Basketball has given me the opportunities of many lifetimes. It was truly my first love. It took my hand and pulled me beyond the pitfalls of my environment, and all over this country and the world — and then brought me back home again. …This game brought me opportunities that I never thought possible: building a league, being a part of history. It has taken me back to my home to impact real change. It has helped me build my community, build families and build young women.”
Cash, a three-time WNBA champion, two-time NCAA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, spent four years of her illustrious career with the Storm (2008-11). She played in 137 regular-season games and 16 playoff games for Seattle, starting nearly every one of them. Cash averaged at least 11 points in all four of those seasons, and she passed 4,000 career points in her final year with the franchise.
In the 2010 championship season, Cash started all 41 games, posting averages of 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. She scored 16.1 points per contest in the playoffs, leading the Storm with a team-high 18 in the deciding game of the WNBA Finals against Atlanta.
Cash ranks in the league’s top 15 in career points, rebounds, assists and games played.
“At the end of your career, you do a lot of reflecting,” she wrote. “I’ve played for multiple teams in the WNBA, and they’ve all felt like home: Detroit and Seattle, where I won championships, and Chicago, Atlanta and New York, my last stops. And the fans in each of those cities became something like family to me.
“I was part of the generation of players right after that inaugural wave, and we never forgot their legacy. I’m so proud now when I see my nieces dribble a basketball. That’s something the women before me inspired. That’s something I inspired. I would live this particular life all over again to ensure young women recognize and embrace the queens they are within.”
Storm guard Sue Bird, who won the 2010 title in addition to two national championships with Cash at Connecticut, also reflected on Cash’s retirement in a separate piece by The Players’ Tribune.
“I’ve had a lot of different teammates over the past two decades but Swin will go down as one of my favorites,” Bird wrote. “There’s a mutual trust between us. It was immediate in college and it was still there, years later, in Seattle. I always knew what to expect from her, she always knew what to expect from me and it worked.”
Fellow Storm champion and now-New York guard Tanisha Wright also contributed, writing, “The WNBA is losing an ambassador. Swin Cash is basketball royalty.”
Cash still has two games left against the Storm – both in New York on July 6 and Sept. 7. With the new postseason format of the top eight teams making it regardless of conference, the Storm and Liberty could also meet in any round of the playoffs.